Forskningsprojekt Snabbväxande städer i Indien drabbas av översvämningar, värmeböljor och cykloner som på grund av klimatförändringar blir allt allvarligare.
Det finns ett akut behov av att öka befolkningens motståndskraft genom att utveckla lokala anpassningsplaner. Vår tvärvetenskapliga forskargrupp ska under ett år identifiera forsknings- och anpassningsbehov i Cuttack, Odisha State. Slutligen kommer vi att utveckla ett projektförslag för att förbättra stadens motståndskraft mot klimatrisker. Vi kommer att samarbeta med lokala partners och urbana samhällen, och vi kommer även att utbilda doktorander.
Climate change, rapid urbanization and widespread poverty pose a threat to many growing cities, especially in India, where heat waves and other extreme weather events are frequent hazards to human health. The health care system and public health in general have to adapt to these challenges while at the same time struggling with lack of resources. There is a profound gap in impact assessment and adaptation planning at the local level, requiring the collaboration of scientists, authorities, and communities.
Researchers of our team, based at Umeå University (Sweden), TERI University and Institute for Human Development (India) and Arizona State University (USA), have been collaborating previously in different constellations on smaller projects. Participants contribute with expertise from public health, epidemiology, physiology, population sciences and climatology – an excellent combination of relevant disciplines. All members have been working before with climate change-related research before, although with different approaches and foci.
Our Indian team member Papiya Mazumdar has previously been working with public health stakeholders in Odisha State, eastern India. In this region, an increase of heat waves and storms has been observed, and State and municipal authorities are interested in collaboration to cope with these challenges. In particular, cities in proximity to the coast are seen as vulnerable to climate change.
We thus presented a research project around the topic of climate change adaptation of Indian cities, with a focus on health issues. Based on already existing contacts, Cuttack city in Odisha State was chosen as the project site.
The main aim of the one-year networking period, which was funded by SSEESS as a Research Links project, was to write and submit a full research project proposal, that aimed at improving public health resilience to climate change in Cuttack, Odisha State, India.